I had an interesting experience at Gimbel's Liquors (Brookline - Washington Sq) last night.
A little background: I am looking to pick up a bottle of kirsch for a bunch of european dessert recipes I have been meaning to try, but read that quality varies greatly between manufacturers. Add to that most liquors stores I have been to carry only one, maybe two, brands of kirsch (besides the really cheap looking ones in plastic bottles next to the bright green sour apple mixers) and that it is not an item that is easy to find reviews on. So during my shopping rounds last weekend, every time I saw a liquor store I would run in, take a look to see what kirsch they sold, and jot it down with the intention of doing a google search on it later.
Last night I stepped into Gimbel's, and was writing down my one line of information when the owner came right up next to me, looked over my shoulder at my paper, and said gruffly that I wasn't allowed to do that. My instinct was to hold my notes to my chest and lean away defensively. He asked to see what i was writing, so I showed him (name and brand of kirsch, size of bottle, price) and he said again that I was not allowed to do that and also asked what I was going to use it for. I was taken aback and just sort of stammered that I had never had a problem with it before (okay, confession: I am really anal, and I take notes about everything everywhere I go, and other people - up until this point curious, friendly fellow shoppers - have asked me before what I'm doing. I usually admit that I am just anal, and we get into a chat about my observations, what I think about a certain store, etc.) and that it was just for my personal reference. He said that the other store owners had probably not noticed what I was doing, because I was not allowed to do that. My husband started to explain about my whole obsessive kirsch researching episode... but at this point I felt absolutely humiliated so I just told the owner, never mind, we're leaving. To which he said, good. And then he showed us the door.
So here's a question: I was just there a few days ago and asked the same owner for a recommendation on a bottle of wine. I bought that recommendation, haven't opened it, and now I really, really want to return it. Can I do that? Or would he chase me out with a stick?
And, I just moved to Wash Sq a month ago, and am looking for a new regular wine store, with a helpful staff that's willing to chat and make suggestions. Any recs for good stores in the area?
And since this is what started this whole incident, anyone know anything about kirsch? Good brands? A link to a web site?